By Mortz C. Ortigoza
Naysayers who pronounced that the war on drugs launched by President Rodrigo Duterte is destined to fail, just like in Thailand, had just been rebutted by a battle scared senior non-commissioned police officer whose equivalent rank in the military is master sergeant.
In an interview with him, he told me that not only peddling of illegal drugs in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan – known as one of the top bailiwicks of narcotics peddlers in my province, had dropped but three of its 34 villages have been declared as illegal drugs -free.
Urdaneta City Mayor Amadeo "Bobom" G.E. Perez IV excitedly told me that these dope free villages are Cabaruan, Otama, and Tipuso.
“You go to Superintendent Marcelino Desamito and asked him for more details on these three barangays,” Perez told me and his favorite media man, who drops by at his office weekly, Harold Barcelona.
Instead of Desamito, who was busy talking with some Muslim elders, we faced the police “sergeant major” who said index crimes like robbery, theft, and others decreased by 40 percent because of the war on drugs.
“Iyong akyat bahay itong tag-ulan marami. Parang seasonal iyan e ngayon wala na.
Wala kaming street crimes. Iyong snatching ng cellphones wala na. Tapos iyong riding-in –tandem na lupa, property ang dahilan ng patayan wala na iyan".
He suspected that those hire guns were those who were hooked on drugs. But because of the aggressive approached by the government on drugs’ traders the menace of drugs have been disrupted.
“Saka sa gabi pag patrol ka madali ang magsita kasi makikita mo hinde gaya noon na maraming pang tao sa 9 pm”.
He agreed to me that the aggressive war launched by Duterte, who already saw countless dead suspected dope peddlers and junkies, have been ubiquitous to bear fruits in all cities and towns in the country.
So who now says the drug war is a failure?
I was telling my radio listeners that the scorched earth approached by the Duterte Administration is the most effective weapon the pushers understand.
“Due process is not applicable in this country. Many drug traders could bribe in their favor susceptible policemen, prosecutors, judges and this happen since time immemorial,” I quipped.
URDANETA CITY – Three villages in this burgeoning city have been cleared by the police as drug –free.
According to Mayor Amadeo Gregorio "Bobom" E. Perez IV they were Barangays Cabaruan, Otama, and Tipuso.
The basis of the police in declaring these villages as narcotics free were the absence of drug users, pushers, and financiers.
“Ito iyong mga barangays na kakaunti. Tinitingnan naming mga barangay na surveillance nila Tipuso, eleven lang ang nandoon (users) e,” Senior Police Officer-4 Roberto Reyes, the chief of the non-commissioned police officer here, said.
He cited that these three villages are the smallest barangays in this eastern Pangasinan city.
This city has been considered as one of the places in Pangasinan if not in Region-1 that faces serious proliferation of dangerous drugs in the 44 towns and four cities’ province.
“The eleven former drug users are no longer hooked in narcotics. Beside, no pushers have attempted to sell illegal drugs there,” the policeman cited one of the three villages why it was declared as drug-free.
SPO4 Reyes cited that freeing these villages under the menace of narcotics had been attained through hard work.
“Medyo mahirap siya, trabaho talaga tayo, kaya natin gawin pag nagtrabaho talaga”.
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at firstname.lastname@example.org)